|Central coordinates||92o 21.78' East 27o 9.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||200 - 3,200m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Eaglenest (or Eagle’s Nest) Wildlife Sanctuary (ENS) and Sessa Orchid Sanctuary (SOS) are located in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh, in Northeast India. Both Eagle Nest (217 sq. km) and Seesa (100 sq. km) were notified as protected areas in 1989. The Kameng river and its tributaries (Tipi and Sessa) drain the area. There are a number of small natural waterbodies on the Piri-la ridge at 2,600–2,900 m, which range from tiny pools to lakes of 0.2 ha. The annual rainfall varies from <1,500 mm on the northern slopes to >3,000 mm on the southern slopes of the areas. Heavy snowfall is experienced in winter on Piri-la, while it is medium to low in other areas (especially above 2,000 m, occasionally down to 1,800 m). There are diverse habitats because of the great altitudinal range. Tropical Wet Evergreen and Semi-evergreen Forest occur in the southern parts of both the sanctuaries, especially in the river valleys and gorges, mainly below 900 m. The forest canopy includes tree species such as Tetrameles nudiflora (important for nesting of hornbills), Terminalia myriocarpa, Amoora wallichii and Duabanga sonneratioides. The middle layer includes Eugenia jambolana, Premna benghalensis, Albizzia procera and Macaranga denticulata. Broadleaf Subtropical Forest dominated by various oak species occurs at 800–1,900 m. Coniferous Subtropical Forest dominated by Pinus roxburghii, P. wallichiana and P. kesiya occurs at 1,000–1,800 m, especially in areas receiving less rainfall. Broadleaf Temperate Forest dominated by oaks, magnolias and rhododendrons, occurs at 1,800-2,800 m. Coniferous Temperate Forest dominated by Abies spectabilis, A. delavayi and Taxus baccata is found at 2,800–3,200 m. Abandoned jhums (areas of slash-and-burn cultivation) are covered with grasses such as Themeda villosa, Saccharum procerum and Imperata cylindrica, and various scrubs. There are also large clumps of bamboo, especially Arundinaria sp. (at 1,800–2,750 m), Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Semiarundinaria pantlingi (at 2,700–2,900 m near Eaglenest pass), Thamnocalamus aristatus (above 2,700 m) and T. spathiflorus (over 3,050 m on Pirila ridge).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii||unknown||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Ward's Trogon Harpactes wardi||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Near Threatened|
|Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Broad-billed Warbler Tickellia hodgsoni||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Marsh Babbler Pellorneum palustre||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Hoary-throated Barwing Actinodura nipalensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Streak-throated Barwing Actinodura waldeni||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Beautiful Sibia Heterophasia pulchella||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Rusty-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx hyperythra||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Eagle Nest||Sanctuary||21,700||protected area contained by site||21,700|
|Sessa Orchid||Sanctuary||10,000||protected area contained by site||10,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Firoz Ahmed and Kulojyoti Lahkar.
Ahmed, M. F., Talukdar, B. K and Dey, A. (2002) Birding in Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India. OBC Bulletin 35: 7.
Choudhury, A. (2003) Birds of Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary and Sessa orchid sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Forktail 19: 1-14.
Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1998) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, Christopher Helm, London.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Eaglenest and Sessa Sanctuaries. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/03/2014
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